Culture. Sometimes I roll with it, and sometimes it throws me for a loop. Usually I feel like I’m really jiving and gelling, and then all of the sudden I realize I’m actually on the outside looking in.

There are so many things I love about here and the way things are done. I love that body wash comes in refill bags that are smaller and more environmentally friendly. I love the Christmas cookie culture here. I’m still dreaming about the spekulaas…a delightful cinnamon cookie…and it’s already February. That’s what the picture is below…the leftovers from our Christmas cookie stash. I ordered several different kinds of cookies to have on hand for our the friends that came visiting. 


Yesterday, though, two things happened that reminded me that I can’t always predict what will happen. The first has something to do with those cookie jars above…Michael took a friend and her extended family to the hospital so she could have surgery. When she came out of surgery the nurse told them that they needed to get a jar to put the tumor in so it could be sent to the lab in another city. So they went to the grocery store and bought a jar like the one above. Then when they got back, the nurse told them that they needed to get alcohol to fill the jar with. So Michael walked past the nurses washing used surgical gloves, and went to the hospital’s pharmacy to find alcohol. They were fresh out. I hope that doesn’t mean the whole hospital was also out. He finally found another pharmacy that had enough alcohol to fill the jar. Mission accomplished. 

The second has to do with fire engines. Yesterday we heard quite a few fire engines going by. We went out to get some snacks for a belated Superbowl party; while we were waiting on the snacks to be finished frying we saw a fire engine honking at a car to get out of the way. When the car didn’t get out of the way, some of the men on top threw a bottle at the car. Our friend’s bumper was also side swiped and pulled off when they didn’t get out of the way quick enough for a different fire engine. 

All this does is remind me, “oh yeah I’m still an outsider”. I might know how to order Christmas cookies, I know what brand of body wash I like, and we love helping our friends out anyway we can if they need rides or jars or whatever. But we still have a lot to learn, and still have some humbling experiences. 

I think it’s a good thing for me to remember my weakness and humanity. 


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